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Linda gets bullied at school and everyone, including the narrator, makes fun of her. Then the narrator gets bullied and suddenly, it’s not funny any more.

Blubber was first published by Judy Blume in 1974 and was banned from many school libraries and reading lists because of violence and language.

Tropes used in Blubber include:


  • Actual Pacifist: Linda tries to solve the problem by dialogue. It fails.
  • Adults Are Useless: The teachers scold the kids occasionally for their antics, but never make a move to stop it. Jill's mother comforts her when the class turns on her, but doesn't step in to actually help her.
  • All Girls Like Ponies: Donna is obsessed with horses, so much that she wants to marry one when she grows up.
  • Alpha Bitch: Wendy
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Kenny Brenner
  • Chinese Best Friend: Tracy Wu
  • Berserk Button: Never call Jill's best friend Tracy a racial slur. Ever.
  • The Bully: Wendy
  • Creepy Child: Wendy and her followers are a borderline example. They write lists of new ways to torment Linda, including forcibly undressing her on two separate occasions. Later, Wendy and her gang attack Jill at the bus stop and throw her books on the ground.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Linda, very briefly, gets to be part of Wendy's gang and pick on Linda. Then Wendy turns on her again and kicks her out.
  • Informed Deformity: Linda is apparently the fattest girl in the class, but on the cover art she doesn't look any heavier than the rest of the girls. Heck, the narrative even says she's not that fat compared to a boy in their class who's so big, he jiggles when he moves!
  • Karma Houdini: Wendy, again.
  • Kids Are Cruel: And how.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Poor Linda…
  • Moral Guardians
  • Morality Pet: Tracy seems to be this for Jill, as she's the only one Jill has a consistent good relationship with.
  • Only Sane Girl: Tracy. She's in a different class, so she never participates in the bullying or even comes in much contact with Linda, and she's the one who warns Jill the perils of letting the bullying go too far.
  • School Bullying Is Harmless: Subverted!
  • Shaggy Dog Story: Linda. She starts the book alone and bullied by the whole class, then ends the book alone even if it's implied the others have backed off.
  • Shut UP, Hannibal: Jill does eventually call Wendy on her bullshit, even if in the end it amounts to little.
  • Threw My Bike on the Roof: When Jill becomes the target of bullying, one of her classmates throws her math book in the street.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Jill's little brother Kenny thinks Linda is really cool when he gets to talk to her at a bar mitzvah.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Overlaps with Picky Eater. Jill loves peanut butter, so much that she brings a peanut butter sandwich to a bar mitzvah in case she doesn't like what's served.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Some of the bullying of Linda involves forced underwear exposure. Later, Jill stops wearing skirts to prevent this happening to her.
  • Villain Protagonist: Jill
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